Accident: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, PC-9(M), 265, Crumlin East, Cornamona, Connemara, Co. Galway,12 October 2009: Report No 2011-016


The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) wishes to advise that the Final Report into the Irish Air Corps Pilatus PC-9(M) accident at Crumlin East, Cornamona, Connemara, Co. Galway on 12 Oct 2009, was scheduled for publication on the 8 November 2011.
Prior to publication, pursuant to Regulation 19 of S.I. No. 205/1997 — Air Navigation (Notification and Investigation of Accidents and Incidents), an interested party served a Notice of Re-Examination on the Minister for Transport regarding this Report.  In light of this, the AAIU postponed publication of the Report pending a decision by the Minister.
The Minister, having considered the matter at length, concluded that the grounds set out in the Notice to challenge the findings and conclusions reached in the Final Report were not sufficient to undermine the validity of the conclusions reached.  Accordingly, the Minister requested the AAIU to publish the Final Report on the 24 January 2012.
The Final Report, as scheduled for publication on the 8 November 2011, remains unchanged.
On 20/12/2017, the AAIU published a Corrigendum in order to correct information which was contained in AAIU Final Investigation Report 2011-016, which was published on 11 August 2011. The Corrigendum can be accessed at the bottom of this page, or can be accessed at the following link: Corrigendum 2011-016
The military training flight departed its base at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Co. Dublin (EIME), on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) cross-country, navigation-training exercise with Galway Airport (EICM) as the intended destination.  Its crew consisted of an Instructor and a Cadet in training who was the handling pilot.  The aircraft flew initially northwest and later southwest towards Maum, Co. Galway.  As it approached high ground on the western shores of Lough Mask, the weather ahead was deteriorating.
The aircraft, keeping in visual contact with the ground, crossed a ridge into a narrow and steep-sided valley.  It then commenced a rapid series of steep turns and turned onto a northerly heading while pitching up and climbing into cloud.  The aircraft then entered a progressively increasing pitch down attitude while rolling to the right.  It impacted the northern slopes of the valley in a steep nose down, wings level attitude at high speed.  Both crew members were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed.
The Investigation determined that the probable cause of the accident was Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) attributable to Spatial Disorientation due to a Somatogravic Illusion following the loss of Situational Awareness.


Occurrence Date: October 12, 2009
Report Date: August 11, 2011

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